Put down the Gatorade, sparky. If you want to ball for the Jonesboro Cardinals, then you better be sipping on the Aunt Jemima. If you think we're kidding—or that Aunt Jemima just pivoted to the performance goo category—we're not (and they didn't). That's just what Jonesboro OL coach Darrian Carmicheal has been feeding his hogs as a reward for touchdowns and, you guessed it, pancake blocks.
According to USA Today, Carmichael first began administering his trench elixir while working as assistant coach at nearby Dekalb County last year. Apparently it was such a hit that he took it with him when he left. “You should see my boys’ eyes ready to run to the sideline!" he says of the tradition. "If you have played football before or offensive line, you know we do not get all the praise and accolades when we do most of the work. This is just something to make them proud and feel appreciated because NO ONE GETS THE SHOT BUT THEM."
If the idea of chugging maple syrup and running around in the Georgia heat for three hours is making you a little queasy, however, you may just have to get over that. As my fellow New Englander and maple-syrup-connoisseur-by-proxy, Keely Levins, points out, many outdoor and endurance athletes are already turning to maple syrup as a source of good, clean fuel. Football is clearly the next logical step, even if NFL nutritionists inevitably replace the Mrs. Butterworth's with a light Vermont amber, so fire up the griddle and get in on the trend ASAP.